HARARE – High court judge Justice Kudya has ordered supporters of Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s wife, Auxillia, out of a farm owned by a co-operative in her Chirumanzu-Zibagwe constituency.
This comes after Auxillia had reportedly confiscated title deeds of Wadzanai Farm in Lalapanzi before she replaced the co-operative’s executive with Zanu PF appointees who she claimed were village heads.
However, in an order passed on May 4, the High Court stopped Zanu PF supporters from convening meetings at the farm.
“Whereupon, after reading documents filed on record, and hearing counsel; It is ordered that: The applicant be and is hereby declared a private farm owned by the applicant (Wadzanai Farm cooperative).
“The respondent (Auxillia’s followers) be and are hereby interdicted from convening meetings at the applicant’s farm,” the judgment reads.
The respondents include; Christine Mushure Makore, Rhino Tom Magaisa, Enock Muzanenhamo, Mabasa Henry Jingura, Cuthbert Majaya, Johnson Muzvondiwa, Joseph Mazango, Lameck Remigio Kunoita and Simon Mazango aka Danger.
Speaking to the Daily News on Saturday, the cooperative chairperson Pio Musambasi said the court ruling was a welcome development to them.
“I have been chairperson of the cooperative since 2005 and our term was supposed to end in 2008 but during the same year Zanu PF tried to take over this farm.
“After they failed to unseat my executive, they invited Mnangagwa’s wife to come here where she forced me to surrender the title deeds and I handed the documents to her.
“I was threatened because the car that was used when we went to collect the title deeds had a gun displayed on the dashboard; this was a strategy to frighten me.”
Musambasi said when he handed the title deeds to Auxillia she in turn handed them to the supposedly new executive.
“They conducted elections on the same meeting which just handpicked preferred individuals and instead of having the 171 members vote, they invited many people from nearby communities.
“Interestingly, in the evening after having realised that what she had done was a mistake — she sent people including Sigauke the district chairperson, another official and a policeman to ask me if I would accept the title deeds back.
“I refused and later I had other visitors from the province but I told them that we had already handed our case to lawyers.”
Musambasi said when he handed the title deeds during that meeting with Auxillia he was ordered to declare that he was no longer chairman of the cooperative and that he should also do a slogan saying he now belonged to Zanu PF.
“I refused to do the Zanu PF slogan and told her that whichever party I belonged to was my secret, but that I would denounce my chairmanship of the cooperative.”
Musambai said the farm was registered as a cooperative in 1983 after about 171 families, who had been displaced from the land by the Rhodesian government, pooled resources and bought the land, where they conducted various business activities.
The cooperative’s lawyer Hillary Garikai from Garikai and company said politicians must work to develop their constituencies and not to oppress people.
He said it was wrong for the title deeds to be taken away at a rally for that matter and that the title deeds are now back through them.
“We were approached by Wadzanai cooperative and took the matter to the courts; the cooperative told the court that they do not want any politician to direct them on what to do with their farm.
“With this judgment, people are now going back to their way of doing things.
“There are many people without lawyers who are being suppressed by politicians; we are still oppressed although they claim that they liberated us. Politicians must work to protect people but they are oppressing them,” added Garikai.